Publisher:
Forest Publishing

Publication Date:
10/03/2023

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1-7359522-7-7

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
15.99

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STAKED: A Vampire’s Tale

By Kim Catanzarite

IR_Star-black
IR Rating:
4.0
For a vampire story, Kim Catanzarite's STAKED is a startlingly warm and wholesome tale of love, found friendship, strength of will, and purity of heart—with enough horror to make the war between light and dark come to life.
IR Approved

 

 

After centuries of hibernation in a trunk tossed and battered by the ocean waves, Gregoire Babin has washed up on the shore of Wodge Island in New England. At first he has no idea who he is or where he’s from, but he is quickly taken under the wing of a group of wanderers and outcasts: sweet Benicia, whom he nicknames Gentille for her kindness, steady Liam, and fierce, prickly Paul. As his memories come back to him, Gregoire begins to realize that he is three hundred years ahead of his time, that he has a disturbing craving for blood (which he manages to satisfy, for the time being, with animal blood), and that the monster who transformed him into a vampire is loose on the island.

STAKED: A Vampire’s Tale, Book One in Kim Catanzarite’s Angel of Death series, is mainly concerned with Gregoire’s internal struggles between his innately gentle soul and the monster that he is becoming against his will. There is also the external fight to keep his vampire progenitor, Reynaud, from devouring and destroying his new friends. The two battles parallel and strengthen each other, in essence becoming the same fight from two different perspectives. Gregoire has some natural assets, including the ability to release souls stuck in dead (or dying) bodies into grace; the memories and teachings of his loving Maman, a wise healer knowledgeable in both natural and supernatural matters; and the two women he loves: his childhood sweetheart Michaelangela, and his new friend Gentille.

The characters are complex and interesting, some of the background characters as much or more so than the protagonist, and all of them, including Gregoire, have their secrets and hidden sides—which are deftly shown to us as the story goes on. The author’s writing is beautifully descriptive, almost poetic in places: there is a “blood moon casting wicked red streaks across the evening sky.” Gregoire thinks of his trunk-refuge as his “shell,” and himself as the “mollusc” inside. The plot yields a promising beginning to a larger story, but there is no complete resolution here; that will have to wait for later books. There are a few things the characters could have easily done by the end of the book to ensure permanent safety from the main threat—and it is not made clear why they don’t do them. All in all, though, it’s a delightful start to a new series, and hopefully its successors will continue the story as beautifully as this begins it.

For a vampire story, Kim Catanzarite’s STAKED is a startlingly warm and wholesome tale of love, found friendship, strength of will, and purity of heart—with enough horror to make the war between light and dark come to life.

~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader

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